A year of Bhutan’s historyDemba Tshering, Thimphu
Feb 5 2017
Exactly a year ago, on this day, Bhutan’s history recorded another chapter- a chapter that promised the Wangchuck dynasty’s legacy to continue.
With all auspicious signs, the birth of His Royal Highness the Gyalsey coincided with the birth year of Guru Rinphoche and 400 years of Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel’s arrival to Bhutan.
People across the country are overjoyed with the news of the Royal Birth of HRH The Gyalsey, who was born on February 5, 2016.
Special prayers were performed in all sacred Lhakhangs and Goenkhags across the country.
As a part of the celebration, people visited sacred religious sites, and many planted tree saplings and offered prayers.
The naming ceremony of His Royal Highness The Gyalsey was held on the very auspicious occasion of Zhabdrung Kuchoe at the Punthang Dewaichenpoi Phodrang.
The sacred ceremony took place in the Machen Lhakhang. His Royal Highness The Gyalsey was named Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck.
During the special occasion, His Majesty addressed the people gathered, and described this precious name: “Jigme means fearless. It symbolises great courage to overcome any challenge that he may confront in future as he serves our country. Namgyel means victorious in all directions and victory over all obstacles. It is a name taken from the revered Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel, who enabled the Dharma to flourish in all directions as prophesied by Guru Rinpoche. Wangchuck is the name of the royal lineage and dynasty.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited Bhutan in April, and the King and Queen of Sweden in June.
Soon after, the Princess of Thailand, Princess Sirindhorn visited Bhutan. During these visits, the international guests received audience with Their Majesties, and also met His Royal Highness The Gyalsey.
His Royal Highness’ Birth and important milestones were followed with great interest in the international media, with organisations worldwide publishing pictures and reporting on the events of the year in which HRH participated.
On June 11, 2016, coinciding with the auspicious day of monkey, in the month of the monkey of the fire monkey year, His Royal Highness The Gyalsey visited the Eastern Bhutan for the first time.
People across the eastern region were overjoyed to welcome their Prince, and hung flags and streamers along the road and on their houses.
The young and old alike expressed their eagerness to see HRH in person.
During this visit, Their Majesties travelled to Takila to offer prayers at the Guru Lhakhang and then to the ancestral village of the Wangchuck dynasty in Dungkhar.
At the Guru Lhakhang of the Nagtshang, His Majesty personally entered His Royal Highness’ Name in an ancient document that bears the names of all the ancestors of the Wangchuck Dynasty, tracing back to Tertoen Pema Lingpa.
Similarly, in August, His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen along with HRH The Gyalsey, visited Bumthang, the ancestral maternal home of Her Majesty.
It was a special occasion for the people of Bumthang. Thousands of people came out on the way to welcome Their Majesties and especially His Royal Highness, and celebrated the occasion with great joy.
At Chhumig, where ancient maternal home of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen is located, thousands of people gathered with bated breath to meet their prince.
The community represented by local leaders, students, religious bodies and the people offered tshogchang and celebrated the joy-filled occasion. His Majesty also granted tokha and soelra to the people.
While in Bumthang, Their Majesties along with His Royal Highness The Gyalsey visited all sacred Lhakhangs and Goenkhangs.
On the December 17, 2016 His Royal Highness celebrated the 109th National day, in Trongsa.
It was also HRH’s first visit and 1st National day. The 109th National Day in Trongsa also coincided with the 10th anniversary of His Majesty’s reign and 12th year of His Majesty’s investiture as the Choetse Penlop.
Following the National Day celebration, His Royal Highness visited historic Trongsa Dzong along with His Majesty The King, His Majesty The Fourth King and Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen.
The people of Bhutan feel truly blessed, not only to celebrate this happy time, but also witness HRH growing up, fulfilling His Majesty’s desire that HRH would be more than a Prince– but a son to all Bhutanese.